Reviews by Dai Alanye

John Splendid

by Neil Munro

Nicely written story of the Highlands, told from the losers' point of view during Montrose's famous campaign in behalf of Charles I. Munro's view of Montrose's Irish infantry is different from that of historians, however.

The book gives a great deal of possibly trustworthy information about ordinary life and politics of the time, though it would help the reader to understand Gaelic. In addition, it could easily exchange a hundred pages of philosophy, mystic descriptions of Highland scenes, and pale-hearted wooing for three or four pages of red-blooded action.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.02

Helen Vardon's Confession

by R. Austin Freeman

Freeman is nearly as good a writer as Doyle, and the science and logic in his tales are superior. Regrettably, Dr Thorndyke is a far less intriguing hero than Sherlock Holmes, and the various Dr Watsons tend to be colorless.

Helen Vardon is a fine story, and it's very length makes it more interesting than many of the Holmes adventures. It would benefit, though, by being less wordy and losing as much as ten percent of its length.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.01

Cynthia's Chauffeur

by Louis Tracy

Rich boy meets rich girl, and after overcoming many plot twists and difficulties, weds her.

Tracy's a good writer—I only wish he'd had a more pleasing premise than the alliance of millionaires. An amusing tale, though.

Reviewed on 2015.08.24

The Great Portrait Mystery

by R. Austin Freeman

Freeman's arch style is perfect for these ingenious (if too dependent upon coincidence) little mysteries, the outcomes of which all border on the illicit.

Reviewed on 2015.08.24

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